making a 98 yzf 400 a woods bike


16 replies to this topic
  • shank

Posted October 25, 2011 - 08:29 AM

#1

Alright guys. A friend of one of my buddies just got a 1998 yzf 400 for a song. While riding behind him the other day I noticed he was struggling in the woods. After talking to him he wants to try and tame it for the woods. So my question is what should he do? I talked him into a fly wheel weight, a set of m12s, a jd jetting kit, and to change the gearing. What gearing would work best? I noticed his clutch pull is brutal is this normal? I have a 2009 wr 450 clutch lying around, would that work? I'm trying to help him out on a budget any help would be great. We live and ride in washington

  • yamajunky

Posted October 25, 2011 - 08:50 AM

#2

I had a 2001 wr250f and my brother in law had a 2000 yz426. Both were hard to turn in the woods. Everyone told me it was just the nature of the beast. As you know, they are very heavy. I sent out my suspension to racetech and had gold valves put in it and sprung to my weight and riding style, which helped. Also, I had been running too high a pressure in the tires. Dropped it down to about 10-12lbs. Obviously, the 250f wasnt an overpowered issue in the woods. The 426f had some of the same problems. G2 ergonomics, makes a cam throttle tube, which has several postions, which helps take the extra blip of throttle you may get if you are in rough or tight stuff, or if you are going through the whoops and want to keep the throttle steady. It worked great on the 426. May try yamalube 20w50 oil in the case, if the clutches feel like they are slipping. My 250f had a harder pull than say my 2008 yz450f, which is great everywhere.

  • Hurricane

Posted October 25, 2011 - 10:06 AM

#3

The older yz's had a pretty heavy clutch pull, not cheap but you can get a hydraulic for it that may help. Really FWW and gearing should help the powerw. A power now really helped my 98 wr400 carry a gear taller.

  • CRF100biker

Posted October 26, 2011 - 01:42 PM

#4

the clutch is hard to pull?

flywheel weight, gearing, larger tank, bark busters, softer seat, silencer and new shoes is what i would do. the bike will still be really heavy and really powerful though. unless if you're a fast rider you won't like the suspension either. after all, it is a purpose built mx bike.

  • Hurricane

Posted October 26, 2011 - 01:49 PM

#5

the clutch is hard to pull?

flywheel weight, gearing, larger tank, bark busters, softer seat, silencer and new shoes is what i would do. the bike will still be really heavy and really powerful though. unless if you're a fast rider you won't like the suspension either. after all, it is a purpose built mx bike.


My old 98 wr400 had a hard pull and so was my friends 99yz400, my 07 yz clutch pull is lighter than my old 01 ktm300 with a hydro clutch. I wouldn't put a larger tank on it unless you really have to, it will only make it more top heavy than it already is.

  • CRF100biker

Posted October 26, 2011 - 03:44 PM

#6

it is top heavy, but you'll want the extra range for the long woods rides. i burn through a tank in no time flat it seems.

try an MSR clutch lever. i have no idea why and it's probably placebo effect, but my clutch feels much smoother and like it has a lighter pull after i bent the stock lever and replaced it with an MSR brand one. it wasn't my choice of lever either, it was just all my shop had for cheap.

actually, i would just invest in a rekluse clutch if they make them. the bike doesn't like to lug down low and can take some finesse to maneuver through the really tight stuff.

  • yzf1999

Posted October 26, 2011 - 04:29 PM

#7

I had a 99yz400f that i only rode woods with.. first of all put the heaviest flywheel weight you can find on it, then gear up one tooth in the rear.....To lighten the clutch pull, use a yamaha banchee or some other yamaha 4 wheeler clutch lever, they are longer than a bikes and the lever action from the longer cluch lever makes the clutch pull lighter...switch the top triple tree clamp to a 2001 yz426..it will turn much better

  • Hurricane

Posted October 27, 2011 - 05:41 AM

#8

it is top heavy, but you'll want the extra range for the long woods rides. i burn through a tank in no time flat it seems.

That's interesting I used to be able to get about 60+ miles out of the stock wr tank on mine, you must be on the gas more than I was. My 07 yz450 has an IMS 3 gallon on it and I'm I've been kicking around the idea of putting my stock tank back on it. If I fill it up and ride 50 miles it will only take about 1.5 gallons to fill it back up, my rides usually aren't much longer than that anyway. I'm guessing I should be able to get about 65 to 70 miles out of the stocker.

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  • j gruelle

Posted October 27, 2011 - 05:54 AM

#9

I had a 98 yz 400 the best solution I found for the clutch pull was a MSR Raptor clutch perch and leaver . you are able to adjust how hard the pull is with the placement of the cable ball it has three settings .worked great for me !!

  • RocketRoss57

Posted October 27, 2011 - 06:02 AM

#10

ive got a 99 yzf400, i ride the crap out of it in the woods and it is basically stock. yeah sometimes it gets a little tricky, but i dont see the mods i could put into that would slightly improve its performance offsetting the cost of those mods. also i got a new clutch cable and a cheapie sunline lever and my pull is gravy.

  • CRF100biker

Posted October 27, 2011 - 12:20 PM

#11

That's interesting I used to be able to get about 60+ miles out of the stock wr tank on mine, you must be on the gas more than I was. My 07 yz450 has an IMS 3 gallon on it and I'm I've been kicking around the idea of putting my stock tank back on it. If I fill it up and ride 50 miles it will only take about 1.5 gallons to fill it back up, my rides usually aren't much longer than that anyway. I'm guessing I should be able to get about 65 to 70 miles out of the stocker.


the stock yz tank is what, 2 gallons +/- .1? i'm too lazy to go downstairs and check my manual lol. i'm pretty sure that 2 fills it though.

  • Hurricane

Posted October 27, 2011 - 01:35 PM

#12

the stock yz tank is what, 2 gallons +/- .1? i'm too lazy to go downstairs and check my manual lol. i'm pretty sure that 2 fills it though.


I think my stock tank is 1.8gal. My IMS is about 3 gal.

  • steam

Posted October 28, 2011 - 08:41 AM

#13

I ride a 2000 yz426f in the woods of British Columbia without any issues. I have done the following mods which might help your partner.

Gearing 13/51
Sofened up the suspension front and back with lighter oil (and less)
Dropped the fork height a bit to get it to steer.
clutch lever mod. (many posts on this site)
clutch actuater mod. (many posts on this site)

That's it. Just keep fresh oil in the engine and a clean filter and you will have a bullit proof woods bike.

  • shank

Posted November 06, 2011 - 03:36 PM

#14

I would like to thank everybody for all the advice. We finally decided on what we are doing. Fly wheel weight is coming, m12 tires ft and rear, new clutch perch and lever (off a raptor) and 14/52 gearing. Then its off to the woods to try it out.

  • Hurricane

Posted November 07, 2011 - 11:35 AM

#15

I would like to thank everybody for all the advice. We finally decided on what we are doing. Fly wheel weight is coming, m12 tires ft and rear, new clutch perch and lever (off a raptor) and 14/52 gearing. Then its off to the woods to try it out.


What is stock gearing on this bike? Just curious because I'm running 13/51 on my 07.

  • grayracer513

Posted November 07, 2011 - 01:27 PM

#16

What is stock gearing on this bike? Just curious because I'm running 13/51 on my 07.

On yours, it's 13/49. On a '98 YZ400 it was 14/49. There are internal differences in the primary drive ratios of the two bikes.

  • Hurricane

Posted November 07, 2011 - 01:32 PM

#17

On yours, it's 13/49. On a '98 YZ400 it was 14/49. There are internal differences in the primary drive ratios of the two bikes.


yeah I knew it was 13/49 on mine that's why I was a little thrown off by the 14 front. Now that I think back my 98' wr400 had a 14 front I think.





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